Embryonic Stem Cell Research: No Bang for Your Buck Scientists Say

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: No Bang for Your Buck Scientists Say Email this article
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by Jennifer Clark
April 9, 2007

LifeNews.com Note: Jennifer Clark writes for the Center for Arizona Policy.

The issue of stem cell research (both adult and embryonic) has become a hot topic recently, and was the subject of a symposium Tuesday night at Arizona State University. The panel featured leading scientists in this field, including one who had developed Parkinson’s disease and spoke from a patient’s perspective.

Dr. David Harris, Science Director of Cord Blood Registry in Tucson, spoke about the almost miraculous advances in treatments that have been made with cord blood and other non-embryonic stem cells, including treatments for heart attacks, spinal cord injuries, and juvenile type I diabetes.

Yet immediately following his remarks, a professor from ASU spoke about how the National Institute for Health still maintains that embryonic stem cell research shows more promise, despite the fact that not one human has had a successful treatment with these cells.

The scientist with Parkinson’s disease went all the way to India to have an embryonic stem cell treatment, but decided against it after the doctor performing the treatment refused to answer any questions regarding success rates, side effects, etc.

In the closing remarks, the panelists discussed that some proponents of embryonic stem cell research may be overreaching in their promises to cure all diseases. One panelist said that you should always be wary of guarantees. “It’s like any offer… If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote next week on expanding funding for embryonic stem cell research, they should keep these thoughts in mind.

We know this much about embryonic stem cell research — besides the ethical concerns, not one human has received a successful treatment with them. People are being cured and treated every day with adult stem cells. It seems pretty obvious where the funding should go.